Magazine September 21, 2020, Issue

Keep It Together: Against the Left’s Secessionist Fantasies

A demonstrator burns a flag during a protest in Portland, Ore., July 18, 2020. (Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)
Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union, by Richard Kreitner (Little, Brown, 496 pp., $30)

Richard Kreitner’s book potentially has a very short shelf life. If Joe Biden wins in November, the arguments of this left-wing pro-secession book will never get any traction.

On the other hand, if President Trump wins reelection, the reaction against him will be even more fevered than after his first victory, and talk of splitting from the Union — or at least defying federal authority in significant ways — will get taken more seriously in progressive circles.

Kreitner, a contributing writer to The Nation, has written a readable, if stilted and hostile, account of the American union that would please old John

This article appears as “Keep It Together” in the September 21, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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Law & the Courts

Judge Barrett on the Second Amendment

Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s impressive dissent in Kanter v. Barr (pp. 27-64) illustrates both her fidelity to the Supreme Court’s landmark Second Amendment ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and her masterful application of the constitutional methodology of originalism. Rickey I. Kanter pleaded ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Judge Barrett on the Second Amendment

Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s impressive dissent in Kanter v. Barr (pp. 27-64) illustrates both her fidelity to the Supreme Court’s landmark Second Amendment ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and her masterful application of the constitutional methodology of originalism. Rickey I. Kanter pleaded ... Read More
World

Europe Makes Its Choice

The president of the European Council does not usually make news when addressing the UN General Assembly. In fact, the current occupant of the post, Charles Michel might be used to giving UN addresses that attract minimal attention. He is, after all, a former prime minister of Belgium. However, today was ... Read More
World

Europe Makes Its Choice

The president of the European Council does not usually make news when addressing the UN General Assembly. In fact, the current occupant of the post, Charles Michel might be used to giving UN addresses that attract minimal attention. He is, after all, a former prime minister of Belgium. However, today was ... Read More

The Arson Party

About that peaceful transfer of power . . . I do not have access to my friend Mario Loyola’s Donald J. Trump super-secret decoder ring, but I am inclined to accept Loyola’s explanation that what President Trump was trying to say, but couldn’t quite manage to say, was the usual witless Trump trolling -- ... Read More

The Arson Party

About that peaceful transfer of power . . . I do not have access to my friend Mario Loyola’s Donald J. Trump super-secret decoder ring, but I am inclined to accept Loyola’s explanation that what President Trump was trying to say, but couldn’t quite manage to say, was the usual witless Trump trolling -- ... Read More